Saturday previous, the Wallabies suffered their fifth loss in seven matches for the year 2018 when they were beaten by Argentina.
The dismal results they have been producing this year finds them now perched, if perched can be used to describe a low, seventh in the World Rugby standings, their worst ranking ever.
The 23 – 19 loss at Cbus Super Stadium was one of those “what if” moments that gain strength with the benefit of hindsight. But for one pass from Israel Folau to Bernard Foley, the Wallabies could have won the game.
That win would have given them their first back-to-back Test victories of the year.
There seem to be any number of issues that are behind the demise of the Wallabies.
Many of the comments of late from the players and observers seem to begin with the words, “If only.”
Contrast that to the phrases being uttered in connection to the All Blacks, which are more likely to begin, “Once again.”
The glaring issue, the obvious issue, is that every time the Wallabies take the ground, one is left wondering which Wallabies will show up.
The inconsistency in the level of play is becoming a regular occurrence.
Michael Cheika has a monumental task in front of him. He must find a way to turn what appear to be promising moments of play and turn those moments into sustained pressure.
There are suggestions that Cheika take Kurtley Beale out of 10 and hand the job to someone with surer hands and the patience to allow the play to develop. The Wallabies seem much more effective with Matt Toomua doing the playmaking and Beale as the second-receiver.
Cheika has used Beale mainly because of his explosiveness off the mark, more than any other fly-half in the country, arguably, but he needs to start creating more opportunities and see the combinations prove effective.
Israel Folau is another matter, but he is better utilised on the wing.
The Wallabies, it would seem, have almost nowhere to go but up, but “if only” excuses quickly become stale.